“Iran’s supreme leader said on Monday he had personally rejected an offer from the United States for talks to fight Islamic State, an apparent blow to Washington’s efforts to build a military coalition to fight militants in both Iraq and Syria. World powers meeting in Paris on Monday gave public backing to military action to fight Islamic State fighters in Iraq. France sent jets on a reconnaissance mission to Iraq, a step towards becoming the first ally to join the U.S.-led air campaign there. But Iran, the principal ally of Islamic State’s main foes in both Iraq and Syria, was not invited to the Paris meeting…………..”
Mr. Kerry said only last weekend that having Iran attend the Paris meeting on confronting the murderous Caliphate of ISIS was “inappropriate”. Iranian officials were reported in the media as wanting to attend, and the French seemed amenable. Mr. Kerry vetoed Iranian attendance in Paris last week mainly because two of the main sources and financers of ISIS and other Wahhabi terrorist groups, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, reportedly objected and exercised their monetary veto.
Now Mr. Kerry wants to have Iran participate in the deliberations, but “unofficially”. He wants them to be part of the anti-Caliphate dialog, but not in the open, just behind the scenes. That is mainly because he tested the Arab waters in Paris and realized that the current Middle East equivalent of Rhett Butler was also needed for this new version of GWTW. To use a crude and possibly immoral but nevertheless succinct example: he is sort of like seeking the Saudi princes and Emirati shaikhs as legal (but polygamous) wives and courting the Iranian mullahs only as potential mistresses. As usual it will be American resources and pilots (and others) bearing the brunt, not Europeans who are the nearest target of the terrorists. Maybe with some Arab monetary support. Maybe.
So, what to do? This is the easy part: as I learned in economics, we use the power of ‘assumptions’. We make assumptions that fit our conditions and our needs: in this case we make assumptions about the Syrian opposition groups. Many in the U.S. administrations are already making certain correct assumptions. The mythical moderate Syrian opposition, those that live on the Turkish border or in Rive Gauche apartments and Persian Gulf five-star hotels. They, with the cooperation of the absolute Wahhabi tribal princes, can do the job and bring democracy and cultural tolerance to a once-very-tolerant Syria. Or, we can start by assuming that for now.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum